- Dr. Barbara M. JenkinsSuperintendent- Orange County Public School
- Rick RoachOrange County Public School
CPR Certification for School Bus Drivers
On March. 19, 2013 my 14 year old son Jestin was on his way home from school on a Orange County School Bus in Orlando, Florida. He was laughing and joking around when he suddenly passed out, as the bus reached our stop my younger son Jaylen got off the bus and was heading towards our home when the kids yelled out to him that Jestin was still on the bus and he had passed out. The bus pulled off on its way to the next stop when a student who was getting off realized Jestin was laid out. While still on the bus he when over to check on Jestin. Thankfully he was smart enough to check for a pulse and when he didnt find one, he notified the bus driver, who then called the bus company for help. EMS arrived after Jestin had been down for over 10 minutes, they starting CPR and transported him to Florida Hospital. He was on life support for three days and on March.22, 2013 he was declared Brain Dead.
Orange County School Board policy for the bus drivers is, to call for help. They are not CPR trained. So my question is how do you ensure the safety of the children on the bus.As of today they are not required to wear seat belts and in case of an emergency the driver stands by and waits for help. The driver is not aware of who and what stops the children are boarding and getting off. If so how was my son laid out in the back of the bus passed out and helpless? So again how are the bus drivers ensuring the safety of our children? Even though itsto late for Jestin however I have another son who has to ride the bus as well as thousands of children who depend on the bus to get to school, and in a city where it's suppose to be the happiest place for children, sure isn't the safest. Certifying the School Bus Drivers is a small price to pay to ensure the safety of all our children.
- Superintendent- Orange County Public School
Dr. Barbara M. Jenkins
- Orange County Public School
**CPR Certification for School Bus Drivers Petition**
The young man in the picture attached to the online petition is the son of my friend, Quetcy Morales. Her son, Jestin had just made Deans List before the tragedy struck. Loved by school mates and teachers alike, his personality would light up any room. Quetcy shared videos of him at home with family and friends, laughing, dancing and being a free-spirited, bright young man with so much great potential.
Jestin was on an Orange County, FL school bus, headed home that fateful day in March of 2013 when he suddenly lost consciousness. His heart had also stopped beating. It took another 10 minutes after students discovered Jestin was not conscious for the EMR unit to arrive and administer CPR. Jestin was transported to Florida Hospital, put on life support until he was deemed brain dead three days later. His mother made one of the most difficult decisions a parent should never have to make. Jestin was taken off of life support and died a short time later.
What if CPR certified Orange County, FL school bus drivers were on every bus in your county? Doing so could very possibly save a child's life in the future. Could it have saved Jestin’s life? We will never know that answer; however, thinking about the multitude of students that ride the school bus to Orange County public schools makes the need for CPR certified drivers an urgent one that should be implemented immediately.
CPR is a skill any person who works with children - our precious cargo – should have. Please make it mandatory for the school bus drivers of Orange County to possess their CPR and have mandate to receive it within a period of time upon hiring. Not making the right choice and allowing non-CPR certified drivers to continue to transport students could be a matter of life and death. The decision could result in more innocent lives taken.
Another family does not need to experience the pain I know my friend and his family is going through after losing a bright, handsome young man with a limitless future. Make Jestin’s passing not have been in vain. It's a simple, affordable solution. CPR certification can be attained after a short one-day course. Please let the Orange County school bus drivers be equipped, making them prepared for any future medical issues that may occur while they are on duty.
Thank you in advance for making the right choice for the little citizens of the Orange County community.
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